The worst part of driving in any big city arguably isn’t the traffic -- it’s the parking. No matter how careful you are about where you park your ride, chances are good you’re going to pick up a parking ticket (or several) along the way.
Now, a startup is looking to take a bit of the pain out of finding that tiny piece of paper under your windshield by fighting your tickets for you. Called Fixed, the app analyzes your tickets and develops an argument for why it might not be valid. The idea came to founder David Hegarty after he received a few tickets of his own.
“After paying four parking tickets one morning, I came out to my car and found another two. I nearly screamed,” Hegarty explains. “The tickets were complete bullshit, and I knew they had been erroneously issued. So I figured out how to contest them, collected my evidence and submitted my appeal. I won both. After that, I started contesting all my tickets, and I discovered I had a pretty good hit rate.”
About 50 percent of tickets are dismissed when they’re challenged in court, according to Fixed. Those are pretty good odds that could wind up saving you a ton of cash. Fixed determines the likelihood of your ticket being dismissed based on the type of violation it is.
When you get a ticket you simply take a photo of it and a few of the scene and upload them to the app. Fixed will ask a few questions about why you think the officer was in the wrong, and ask you to input a credit card number. The filing process can be done in just a few minutes while you’re still steaming on the curb. Based on your account of the situation, Fixed will prepare a contest letter to send the city and then have you digitally sign it on your phone before the company sends it along.
If Fixed gets your ticket dismissed, you pay the company 25 percent of what the total fine for the ticket would have been. If Fixed loses, you just pay the cost of the ticket and Fixed gets nothing. In both scenarios Fixed charges your credit card, so you don’t have to deal with cutting a check.
The service is live in San Francisco, with plans to expand to other cities in the future. Hegarty says the company is processing close to 700 tickets each week in San Francisco alone. Marketing is done by finding unfortunate drivers who have received tickets and leaving notes on their windshield letting them know there’s a way out.
For Fixed, parking tickets are also just a first step in a number of problems they can take care of for you. Ultimately, the company hopes to be an advocate for all kinds of disputes. Be it a traffic violation or an exorbitant cable bill, Fixed wants to be able to “fix” it for you.
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